Quieting – Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Daniel (my son) and I had just floated “The Box” of the Henry’s Fork River which the locals know as the North Fork (of the Snake River). This stretch of river is famous for the numbers of fish it holds. (Idaho Fish and Game estimate 3500 hundred per mile.) The six hour float we took through The Box, making hundreds of casts, tended to confirm this as well as the fact that some of these fish are ginormous!

How did this come to be? Where does such an abundance of life begin? We decided to find out. We pulled out our map and began our search. What we discovered surprised us. This river did not begin as snow melt, cascading dramatically from thousands of feet above; no, it was coming from beneath our feet!

Our search led us, within a short drive, just a few miles upstream, to Big Spring. Here, without much fanfare, 150 million gallons a day of cold, crystal clear water bleed out from a fifty foot gash in the mountainside. From an overlook only a brief walk from our car we looked down to see Big Spring pumping its quiet torrent, first into an inviting pool of shear beauty then spilling out onto the descending rocky gradient which is the Henry’s Fork. It turns out this spring was the inconspicuous origin of the abundant life of which Daniel and I had partaken.

In the ecosystem of this flowing water, plant life had taken hold and had become in itself a perfect habitat to the crustaceans, leaches and insects which in turn become the feast of the hungry and awaiting trout downstream. To me, the earth was declaring the glory of her maker and preaching an unforgettable sermon.

Then (an angel) showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1

If you read further in Revelation 22 you discover this river is also the origin of an ecosystem, one of eternal life that brings healing and abundance to all those downstream. Not only did the Henry’s Fork nourish the fish in the river and the birds that hunted it, it was also drawn upon to irrigate hundreds of thousands of acres of rich farmland. This brings us to the grand miracle which, it seems only few discover; this spring is within us and would run through us, would we permit it.

Most of us know of the book by Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and the movie that made it famous.  Maclean leaves his readers with a deeply personal word, a synthesis of a life’s observations; “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it….. I am haunted by waters.” If the scriptures are true and the testimony of the saints who have tasted abundance is accurate, our story (that of the Church) should be titled; A River Runs Through Us, subtitled; We Are Inhabited By Waters.

As I read scripture it seems apparent that living water was meant to come from Christ who is the Big Spring deep within us. As we learn to live out of that stream, we become the rocky fork where life may propagate. Surely it was God’s intention that our hearts be that place where abundance is cultivated and eventually spills out to those downstream from us.  How does this come to be? Where does such an abundance of life begin? We must each decide to find out and trace it back to the source. Those who will take the time will discover it is but a short distance to the Spring and that it is less conspicuous in presentation than we have perhaps been inclined to think.

Our theme this week “Quieting” is surely a pathway to personally discovering our Big Spring.

Father, may your life find its way within us. May the river which comes from your throne birth in our hearts sufficient abundance to nourish those you have placed nearest to us. May this eternal system of life even spill out and bring healing to the nations. Amen.

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